According to Millennium Research Group (MRG), the optical coherence tomography market will grow at an annual rate of almost 60% through 2015, spurred by physician adoption of this new technology that was launched in the US in May 2010. Much like intravascular ultrasound, which is used to visualize the arterial lumen in order to assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease, optical coherence tomography can be used for a similar purpose.
Optical coherence tomography will start to penetrate the intravascular ultrasound market as devices become more readily available in the catheterization labs and more clinical data are published to support its use. According to physicians interviewed by MRG, the adopters of optical coherence tomography are likely to be those who have already embraced intravascular ultrasound technology. The availability of the two technologies will allow physicians the option of choosing the best-suited imaging modality for each case—intravascular ultrasound visually penetrates deeper into the tissue, while optical coherence tomography offers higher-resolution images. Physicians using intravascular imaging technology will choose between either intravascular ultrasound or optical coherence tomography in most cases, but there will be some exceptions where both technologies are used. In cases where physicians could use either imaging modality, physicians may prefer optical coherence tomography because intravascular ultrasound images have been known to be difficult to interpret in the past.
"The obstacles that optical coherence tomography will face will be similar to those encountered when intravascular ultrasound was first introduced—the belief that the use of intravascular imaging creates extra expenses and added time to procedures," says Adrienne Ma, Analyst at MRG. "In addition, because optical coherence tomography is so new, there is limited accessibility to optical coherence tomography equipment, and staff in the catheterization labs needs to be trained to use the technology. High use within a small number of academic centers for research purposes will drive the optical coherence tomography market through 2015, but its use in a clinical setting will be restricted because of a lack of validation data proving its clinical benefits."
St. Jude Medical is currently the only player in the US optical coherence tomography catheter market but Volcano is expected to launch a rival device in mid 2011. St. Jude Medical will likely attempt to equip facilities with its system before Volcano's product comes to market.
MRG's US Markets for Interventional Cardiology Devices 2011 report provides critical insight into trends that will fuel market growth for coronary stents, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty balloon catheters, accessory devices (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty guidewires, diagnostic catheters, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty guiding catheters, introducer sheaths, and chronic total occlusion crossing devices), intravascular imaging catheters and pressure guidewires (intravascular ultrasound, optical coherence tomography, and fractional flow reserve), and coronary atherectomy devices through 2014.